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iffy condom? donation
Oct 29, 2007

Hi Dr. Bob,

Thank you first of all for all you have done here. I have done a great deal of searching through previous postings and have managed to find some relief however my fear in particular doesn't seem to have been addressed.

Yes, I am one of many married men who is feeling extreme guilt and anxiety over having had intercourse with an escort. Yes, it was protected, but I am extremely uncomfortable because I don't know with what kind of condom. I was drunk but vividly recall there being some issues with the condom. First she wouldn't use the latex Trojan I had, and due to the language barrier I couldn't understand her explanation as to why. The condom she put on me covered almost all of my 'shaft' but there was at least two inches dangling from the tip. After reading about lambskin and polyeurthane condoms online I have become scared because they apparently are not at protective and are of the loser-fit that I seemed to have experienced.

One thing I did do the next morning after the encounter was get the condom out of the trash and fill it up with water to see if there were any leaks/tears. There were not. So, my big question is whether the risk of the other type of condom that she might have given me is that they (they being other than latex) are more likely to break and in turn transmit HIV, or do that they do not protect as sufficiently as latex against HIV while in tact? Also, if it were not a latex condom, how obvious a difference would it have been? Is my 'water test' at all conclusive?

It has been 6 weeks since the encounter, and I tested negative at 4 1/2 weeks. I have most recently become very nervous (to say the least) because of various symptoms I have developed- night sweats weeks 3-4, stiff/soar neck at week 5, diarreah week 5-6, and my wife has had a dry cough every morning since this whole thing happened. I know symptoms can be misleading, but given that I have 2 months until my conclusive 3 month test that is seeming more and more like 10 years away and I am having a very hard time carrying on with my life. Anything you can offer would be so greatly appreciated, including the link for donations.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'm glad you've been reading the archives and at least finding "some relief."

Regarding escorts and condoms, for the most part sex workers know much more about staying safe than horny drunken married guys on the down low. After all STDs are occupational hazards for sex workers. The most common reasons sex workers would refuse to use a condom provided by their trick is that either (1) they don't trust the guy or his condom (i.e. expired condom, lambskin rather than latex or polyurethane condom, damaged condom, etc.) or (2) they are allergic to latex. What you read about non-latex condoms was not completely accurate. It is true that lambskin condoms do not protect against HIV; however, they do prevent unwanted pregnancies. Polyurethane condoms, on the other hand, protect against both HIV and unwanted pregnancy, just like latex. In fact they are recommended for folks with latex allergy. The durability of polyurethane condoms is very similar to latex. The three materials latex, polyurethane and lambskin all feel quite different. All would pass the water test.

My advice to you is the same as it is to all the other "many married men who feel extreme guilt and anxiety" from doing the horizontal mattress mambo with the Naughty Lady of Shady Lane:

1. Level with your wife. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt and anxiety; it's also the right thing to do.

2. Use latex (or polyurethane) condoms with your wife until you get your definitive three-month test.

3. The odds you did not contract HIV from this sexcapade are astronomically in your favor.

4. Stop worrying about symptoms. They are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected.

5. Continue to read through the archives. You should find the information and testimonials there both enlightening and encouraging.

Finally, thank you for your desire to make a donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. Helping others in desperate need is an excellent way to keep our problems in their proper perspective (and to rack up some excellent cosmic karma!). The foundation's Web site is www.concertedeffort.org. In return I'm sending you my best good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive three-month test remains negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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